On a night out, my go-to are always cocktails, and depending on where I head to, I always have a few firm favourites. Give me a Piña Colada, Espresso Martini, Indigo Sunset or White Russian and I’m yours. That being said, I’ve never really taken the time to learn any of the classics myself. Shame on me… So when the All Bar One cocktail masterclass invite landed in my inbox, I quite simply just had to say yes and control my excitement until the event.
Although All Bar One is comfortably located in Millenium Square, I haven’t, until the event invite, ever been and inside, and boy I’m a little peeved at myself for never having been in. The mix and match interior is so cosy with leather seating, geometric copper and colourful light fittings. The atmosphere was welcoming and the bar was bustling, which only made me even more eager to get my hands on a cocktail. As we waited for the event to start, we took advantage of the recommendation to enjoy the bar’s favourite Peach and Rhubarb Collins- a cocktail that basically tastes just like your childhood memories of that sweet. The view from All Bar One is pretty fantastic too. As the event kicked off, we were greeted by the lovely Joe, who looked after us all night, kept us well entertained and taught us all about cocktails. To start the masterclass, I eagerly requested to learn how to make the Espresso Martini first, and as a firm favourite, I was surprised as to how much effort goes into making it, making me appreciate the cocktail even more. Being one of the most simplest cocktails to make, it’s a case of pouring the following into a shaker with plenty of ice, giving it a good shake and straining it into your martini glass: a double shot of vanilla vodka, one shot of Tia Maria, one shot of freshly brewed espresso and half a shot of sugar syrup. Voilà, and there you have it. Well that’s what I thought at least… and was mortified at my lack of shaking skills, poor effort if you ask me. No frothy top to place my little coffee bean garnish onto, so back into the dreaded icy cold shaker it went. So this part had me seriously shocked, the shaker was so bladdy cold that every so often I had to take a break and warm my hands up. So any bartender that can shake the good ole’ shaker for more than 30 seconds has my complete respect. Hats off to Joe, who had to deal with three very chatty women, and as the night continued we became even chattier and took longer each time to make our drinks. In between questions and giggles and full blown snap-happiness, we managed to compete cocktail number two of the night- the mojito. A mix of rum, fresh mint, lime, sugar and soda, we muddled the perfect blend each to our preferred tastes, packed with ice to keep the drink cool and make sure we have right balance of water to ABV. The thought of a warm mojito almost seems wrong.. so don’t ever complain about ice in your cocktails… it’s for your own good. Two hours later (blame the wonderful company) we made a start on the Cosmopolitan which is actually my least favourite cocktail- but that’s usually because of the zestyness of the orange peel that I don’t enjoy. Not blowing my own trumpet, but the self-made Cosmo (Citron vodka, Cointreau and cranberry) has actually been the only one I have ever enjoyed and would sway me to potentially give that cocktail another go, plus it was picture perfect as the peel was lit. Not wanting the night to end, and steal all of Joe’s cocktail knowledge, we asked what the most unusual or underrated cocktail was on the menu. Disappearing for a few minutes, Joe returned with what was called the Bergamot & Pomegranate Iced Tea- an amazing blend of tea and pomegranate fruit that had an ever so slightly sweet and super refreshing taste… and very recommendable. And for those of you who may wonder, the tea syrup is the secret to this drink, the delicious hint of Earl Grey. Bizarre, right? So for those of you eager to learn all about cocktails and get hands on with mastering these beauties, I can only recommend to get yourself and your friends booked in for this brilliant experience. It truly is wonderful and you walk away as a newly skilled cocktail master (and drinker) who can now impress others at family parties. If you need further convincing, your private experience is a tad cheaper than buying three cocktails and there’s no waiting at the bar. Ta da! We had a beautiful time there and should you go too, I also hope you enjoy yourself.. and let me know what cocktails you went for!